We see it happen on the PGA Tour all the time: a player leaves a golf teaching professional for another teacher. There can be a number of reasons, such as the player is not improving, there is a difference on what direction the player should go, or the player feels that it is time for a fresh start. As a golf teaching professional, how do you handle this decision? When is it time to make a change? Some teachers take it very personal to the point where they hope the student doesn’t have the same caliber of success. On the other hand, there are a number of teachers who will do everything they can to make the transition a positive one. I once heard of a top teacher who would send his former student’s old swing videos to the new teacher in efforts to set that student up for success. Sometimes change is a good thing, even if it hurts our feelings. We need to wish our students well and let them know we will be there if they ever want to talk or work together again. As a professional, it is not in anyone’s best interest to “put down” the other instructor or their methods. Many eyes are on you during these times; you can easily lose students if your attitude is poor. Rory McIlory recently left Dave Stockton, his long time putting coach, for Phil Kenyon. This was not blown up in the media like some of the other major teaching changes because all parties were professional. Rory needed a change, plain and simple. I am sure that Stockton was very happy when Rory won the Deutsche Bank Championship a few weeks ago. There are times when change is needed; it’s part of life. Do what’s right for you and your students. It should all work out in the end.